The Food and Drug Administration has approved Arena Pharmaceutical’s anti-obesity pill Belviq, the first new prescription drug for long-term weight loss to enter the U.S. market in over a decade.
The agency cleared the pill for adults who are obese or are overweight with at least one medical complication, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
The Food and Drug Administration denied approval for Arena’s drug in 2010 after scientists raised concerns about tumors that developed in animals studied with the drug. The San Diego company resubmitted the drug with additional data earlier this year, and the FDA said there was little risk of tumors in humans.
With U.S. obesity rates nearing 35 percent of the adult population, many doctors have called on the FDA to approve new weight loss treatments.